Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) on Monday urged Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) to step down after the Federal Elections Commission ruled that the congressman violated campaign finance laws.
“It’s a decision he needs to make, but if I were in his position, that’s what I would do,” Ayotte told New Hampshire television station WMUR.
Ayotte said she spoke to Guinta over the phone following the FEC’s decision.
“I told him that this is what I believe is the right step to do,” she told WMUR. “Obviously, he needs to fully account to people in New Hampshire most of all.”
The FEC concluded that Guinta broke the law by accepting campaign contributions from his parents. According to the FEC, Guinta used money from his parents’ bank accounts to make campaign loans.
Guinta apologized on Sunday but did not admit to wrongdoing.
“With over 40 years of time, and through appreciation, interest, investments and more, I was personally responsible for funds exceeding the amount I loaned the 2010 campaign. Did my parents issue checks? Yes. … Was it their money? No. Documents prove the funds were mine,” he wrote in a letter on his campaign website. “I understand and share with you the frustration of this process, and I am sorry for my error that caused it.”
On Monday, Guinta said he would continue to serve in Congress despite Ayotte’s call for him to step down.
“I understand Senator Ayotte’s disappointment with this issue, I share in that frustration. I have been proactive in showing the documentation proving the assets in question were mine,” Guinta said in a statement to The Hill. “I have apologized for the error on my part, made myself available for press inquiries and attended several events over the weekend. I will continue to meet with, listen to and serve Granite Staters of the First Congressional District.”
This post has been updated.